« McCain Campaign Flailing: in Disarray | Main | GOP Still Employing Fear-Mongering »

Bush's Union-Busting Revolving Door Problem

When Bush nominated labor law attorney Robert Battista to become the chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2002, Bush knew full well that Battista would help tip the NLRB against working people and the labor unions who support them in labor conflicts.

Then in 2006, Democrats won back Senate control, and Senator Edward Kennedy opposed the renomination of Battista for second term after Battista took away union representation from some supervisory workers (Oakwood Health Care), put restrictions on unions using e-mails to communicate with their members in the workplace, made it very difficult for illegally-fired employees to receive their back pay, allowed employers to practice job discrimination against any person seeking employment who supports labor unions and made it more difficult to form unions through majority sign-up of workers, and other anti-worker and anti-union decisions.

When Battista realized that he was unlikely to win a second term after his four years of anti-worker and anti-labor union decisions, he withdrew from consideration for a second term. Now in typical Washington revolving door fashion, Battista has taken a job as an attorney at the anti-labor union law firm of Littler, Mendelson, and is now able to profit from his background of work at the NLRB and use his inside knowledge of loopholes in NLRB regulations to help employers destroy labor unions or prevent new unions from forming at their company.

The Battista tale involves all of the rotten aspects of Bush's Washington, a revolving door system where Bush administration insiders are able to quit one job with the government, and turn right around and use their inside knowledge of the system to turn a profit with outside employers who hire them because of their background.

And with so many workers hurting financially because of the poor economy, Battista is in a very good position to hurt the ability of workers to join labor unions and get better pay, health benefits. job security and retirement benefits, by being able to market his inside knowledge of the NLRB to union-busting clients.

The Washington revolving door system does indeed take a real human toll.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

  • Currently 2.7/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 2.7/5 (7 votes cast)

Comments (12)


Unions have lost there reason for being. Since only roughly 11% ( and falling) of the American workforce is unionized, and union greed has destroyed most of the industries it permeates, this is really good news. However, the illegal alien market is untapped union territory. Go for it!!

Nonsense, Codekeyguy. Labor unions mean more than ever as the middle class struggles to pay for health care, get decent pay, and have job security, but outsourcing of jobs by greedy corporations who can hire labor in low wage nations has hurt workers.

But unions are showing new strentgh by making their voice heard on other issues that hurt Americans. The Iraq War has sucked half a trillion dollars from the federal budget that could have helped with health care or other life or death issues for the working class of America. Longshore worker's unions held general strikes on MAY DAY to protest the war. If only more workers could join in with general strikes the government could be forced to end the war, or the current government could even be forced to resign and a government more friendly to working people could be put in power. Labor needs to flex more muscle and make a stand for working people.


Where is it written that everyone is ENTITLED to health care, job security, decent pay? Do you want the US to become "merrie old england", or even Canada, with their non-working universal health care? The whole problem with the "I'm entitled" idea is that it creates a society that EXPECTS government to support it cradle to grave. It creates generational welfare (and a whole government bureaucracy to support those generations), touchy feely (union taught)"publik skool edukashun" where civics is never taught, nor is any common sense. Remember Kennedy? Ask not what your government can do for you, but what you can do for your country? Unions, and all the pandering wussies, just want handouts.
(As you can see, I'm seeing this in a slightly different manner than you, but it definitely is creating a discourse!!!)

Codekeyguy, I don't agree with your class politics that believe only those who can afford to see a doctor are entitled to health care. Health care can be included in most job contracts with workers and the employer. But the poor still need a safety net.

David B:


What in the hell do you know about unions, other then what you have read?

Have you ever been a union member?

Have you ever had your union tell you they will not take your grievance to arbitration because it would establish a precedent that they did not want created, even though your grievance was valid?

How about the Union Boss who was so afraid of having the local books opened to an independent audit that he negotiated an agency fee of 1/4 the yearly dues of a full member to keep it from happening?

Some of the union tactics being used today, like the one mentioned, are underhanded and misleading "Majority sign-up" is not where a union comes to a business, rallies the workers to their cause and then holds elections to gain the representation. No, they pass out cards, not really telling the workers what they are attempting to do, then after they have a majority of these "card votes" they go to the NLRB for certification. It's crap and there are more cases of these types of certifications eventually being overturned by the NLRB, at the workers request.

The unions of today do not provide pensions, health care benefits or anything else beside collective bargaining. They give the majority of your hard earned money, paid in dues, to causes or political candidates the majority do not support. Most union members are moderates, not ultra liberal like the leadership. They are a waste, have outlived their usefulness, and have driven more then one industry out of business in this country. Do you know where most of the steel used in this country comes from today? It's not from this country . . . .


In this country, right now, ANYONE can walk in to an emergency room and be treated. They can't be turned away. In england and Canada the NHS tries to outwait the patient, hoping he will die before they have to lay out services. Also, most union activists have never met a democrat/socialist/marxist they didn't like.
Back to health care, socialized medicine creates a TWO-TIER SYSTEM, Good health care(for those that can afford it) and NHS (for those that can't.) Guess which one is rationed?
And you need a union to develop a job contract?
Finally, (and again) only 11% of the US workforce is unionized. This is because the unions have priced themselves out of the market, by being greedy with their demands, and the jobs (mostly manufacturing) have gone overseas. So the unions try to get democrats elected, since the democrata are for "the working class". Weren't Marx and Lenin using the same words? "Working class"? Rise up against the rich oppressors?
By the way, I'm "working class", but self employed. While I have the usual ups and downs, I always can make enough to provide food, clothing, shelter, and HEALTH CARE for my family. Try a High Deductible Health Plan (very reasonably priced) with a Medical Savings Account.

Re unions -

The IAMAW pretty much screwed themselves out of a lot of jobs at Lockheed. The in-house manufacturing of parts used to be a standard, providing thousands of jobs out at their plants - but the cost of union labor got to be far higher than the quality of the union work could justify. The union bosses figured they had a lock on manufacturing the parts, and kept jacking up their demands each time the contract came up for negotiations.

You can only do that for so long.

End result? Lockheed outsourced a lot of their manufacturing. Quality of the parts put together went up. Major assemblies fit together better. A lot of folks got laid off or 'urged' to retire. A lot of folks in the boonies of Mississippi got much better jobs than they ever dreamed.

The plant is still unionized - a lot of the assemblers are still union, but mostly they're the ones who were actually productive. There's some who will likely never retire - coming in to the plant is as ingrained a habit as brushing their teeth in the morning. You don't see many young guys joining the union - there's no turnover, no jobs opening up. The older guys, they've paid their dues and got their seniority - they don't care and they're going to hang on. One branch that's still union is the janitorial staff... but they barely clean the bathrooms in most of the plant and don't do much other cleaning. Stairways are never swept, carpets rarely cleaned - and you can pretty well forget about trash being emptied out of your cube.

My father-in-law used to work in a steel mill. Good pay, hard work, but he liked it. The union pretty much killed that off in Pennsylvania, but it was sweet while it lasted. Two-month mandatory paid vacation every other year, along with holidays and personal time? Great stuff! But the plant closed - it wasn't profitable. Union bosses didn't feel the bite - they were just moved elsewhere. Rank and file? Well, too bad so sad - plant's gone, so no need for a union any more! The union didn't make the work, or the mill - but they sure were instrumental in making the job go away.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think the unions were did a lot of good work and were instrumental in getting a lot of industrial safety and health issues addressed and corrected - also in insuring decent pay for the work.

But in a number of cases, they slaughtered the goose that laid the golden egg with demands that were out of line for what the company could provide...

David B:

lol, where's Paul?

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

You must be a new Wizbang Blue reader, David. Paul has spoken eloquently in the past about his upbringing and his strong believe in the importance of unions and labor in general.


paul also has a habit if dropping these types of articles with little to no factual basis for them, and then not responding to requests to back up his assertions or to respond to criticisms.

Ke, I manage real estate property from my parent's estate and don't always have time to respond to every individual detractor everytime they post something critical. Like today, I had to mmet with a real estate agent to sell off a problem rental property that renters did $70,000 damage to.

What part of this feature isn't true? Battista has not been even handed as chair of the NLRB. Senator Kennedy and others opposed his renomination for a second term, so he withdrew his nomination and is profiting from his NLRB role at an antiunion law firm of Littler, Mendelson. The home page of Littler. Mendelson makes it very clear that they represent employers in disputes with labor. What part of this is wrong?

Historically, I've always represented management in business myself, but I see the good life that the role of the labor union provided my father during his life including health care coverage and a $1,600 a month retirement paid for by the union from the union dues collected. Unions collect dues, invest in mutial funds, and pay retirement to older workers.

Management is represented by trade organizations and labor law firms and workers are represented by unions. What's wrong with workers having this clout on their side to somewhat level the playing field?


paul, ouch, that's a sucky day to have. i'm just saying that i've seen a lot of posts where you do the initial post, there are one or 2 critical comments and you never respond.

are you saying anything that is untrue? to be honest i don't know. you threw a lot of allegations out there without linking to any supporting documentation. that is also something that i have seen a lot (and to be fair, not just by you).

i'm not saying that you can't do that, i'm just saying that without something backing up what you are saying, i'm not going to be greatly swayed.

i also find it interesting that there were at least 4 posts that offered you specific criticism of your positions that you ignored in order to respond to my little post that really wasn't on topic.


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]





Add to Technorati Favorites


Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

All original content copyright © 2007 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark. Wizbang Blue™ is a trademark of Wizbang®, LLC.

Powered by Movable Type 3.35

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.